The Native Tourist
reformed/biblical observations on Christianity and culture

Wednesday, March 09, 2005
Christian Culture - The Morally Beautiful Community
From a post at the Dialogical Coffee House - This is a great vision!

This term Morally Beautiful Community came to me while reading Edwards' "On Religious Affections" many years ago. Edwards speaks of the Spirit, through the Gospel, revealing to the heart the Moral Excellencies of Christ. To Edwards, the work of Grace produces in the heart of the believer affections for these moral excellencies. Therefore, our chief end in life is to display these moral attributes of God in our life through grace. Edwards represents the height of the pietist and revivalist history in the Reformed tradition. I see the chief end of man not to so much to display the excellencies of God in the world as individuals but as a body. We as people, by the way we LIVE TOGETHER are to be this "city on a hill" that displays His manifold beauty. We are to become the Morally Beautiful Community.

Edwards in his life and the life of his congregation experienced seasons of Grace that transformed the community around them. The fruit of the people, the winsomeness of their worship, and their artistic expressions all came forth from the community and led to great cultural renewal. Such a view of the role of the church and the potential for the church, I believe, constitutes a distinct worldview. The question is why do some Christians have a worldview which maintains this high and prophetic view of the church while others do not. I for one cannot read the bible without seeing the call to become this radically distinct and morally beautiful people. I believe that this is the Hebrew worldview and Greek dualism and Western individualism has undermined this core aspect of the biblical worldview.

The church is the bride of Christ. Our Covenant Lord is making us glorious and empowering us to make glorious things...